Waxes and sealants are the two most commonly used products by detailers and enthusiasts to protect car paintwork.
If you’re new to car grooming, these products can be confusing.
But don’t worry, after reading this story, you’ll know what to expect from waxes and sealants!
WAXES − THE TRADITIONAL WAY OF PROTECTING PAINT
Unlike sealants, which are usually fully synthetic, waxes can be made from natural ingredients.
These ingredients include carnauba wax and beeswax, which repel water.
They are blended with other ingredients that help provide UV protection (so the paint doesn’t fade), too.
Waxes are easy for beginners to use. As long as your paintwork is clean, just apply thin and even coats.
When the wax hazes over and is dry, the excess is easily buffed off with a clean microfibre towel.
However, they usually don’t last as long as sealants do.
1) Easy for any car owner to learn to use.
2) Natural waxes offer a warm gloss/glow that is appealing to traditional detailers.
3) The excess is easily removed.
1) Does not last as long as a synthetic sealant and has to be topped up more frequently.
2) It’s not as protective. You need to clean off contaminants such as bird poop immediately.
A sealant buys you more time.
3) Is usually harder to apply.
SEALANTS: THE MODERN WAY OF PROTECTING PAINT
Like waxes, the function of sealants is to “lock in” and enhance the gloss/shine of paintwork.
Sealants can last a very long time. Most manufacturers claim up to 12 months of protection.
Usually made from synthetic ingredients, sealants are easier to apply.
You don’t have to work them into the paint.
Just make sure you work on small sections at a time.
Coat each section thinly and evenly.
Depending on the product (and how much you used), buffing can be easy or difficult.
In the case of ceramics, using too much product will result in severe downtime for your car.
The paintwork will have to be polished just to remove the ceramic coating!
This is why when ceramic coatings are involved, you need professionals to do it.
Curing or allowing the sealant to bond with your paintwork takes longer than wax.
Also, unlike waxes, sealants leave your car with a hard “cold” shine.
There is nothing wrong with this, unless you prefer a “warmer” gloss.
1) Sealants last longer (in some cases, much longer) than waxes.
2) Can be easier to apply and remove than a wax.
3) Makes car maintenance easier. Just wash your car weekly and ensure you remove harmful contaminants.
1) Expensive. Sealants, especially ceramic coats, must be applied by professionals.
2) If your application is wrong, removing the sealant can be a pain.
3) Application takes longer due to the longer curing time. Some ceramic coats have to cure for 24 hours.